Do you have water puddling in your yard? Does water remain for days after a rain? Does soil or mulch erode from your landscape beds and wind up on your lawn? In large storm events, do you experience flooding? Water is nature’s most powerful force and an essential element for our health and well being. We should cherish and value it. That doesn’t mean we should not consider manipulating and directing or redirecting its flow patterns. When it rains, I usually have a busy day studying flow paths, sheet flow and erosion problems.
Identifying problems in your landscape before they become real health issues or negatively impact your life style or property values is important. Simple things like making sure your gutters and leaders are clean can help. Look in your attic, basement or crawl space to be sure it is properly vented to prohibit mold from forming. Fresh air is as important to wood for respiration as it is to our bodies. I have had the unfortunate experience of discovering that the contractor who I hired to do my roof, gutters/leaders and windows ( a $30k job) did not adequately vent the attic interior. I found this out during an inspection to refinance the house. The cost for mold remediation was $5k. You can’t always see or smell the mold problem! Test for it and save the $ and discomfort my family went through.
Grading your landscape beds and lawn areas is critical. Another important consideration is how well your soil drains. This may have to do with soil texture and composition, compaction (most likely), clogged drains and catch basins or any number of other factors. Some things we have to accept. Living in a flood plain or proximity to a natural wetland may be one.
Most water and drainage issues can be improved. Sometimes with simple ecological landscape methods. This can be accomplished by improving the soil with compost, sand or other soil amendments, such as yucca, which helps break the surface tension allowing percolation and infiltration rates to improve. This may make expensive excavation and piping avoidable.
Often drywells, storm chambers and other permanent subgrade structures may be needed. Remember safety first! When considering drainage, look at safety and liability to determine design and construction values and methods. Modern bio-engineering methods, practices and products can be extremely beneficial as well as cost effective.
If you have a problem, please call or email us. If you are concerned about water management and want to learn more, call or email us.
Stay Safe, Healthy, Happy, Dry and Warm
Jay Archer, President